On Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.
Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.
See previous posts:
In this post we will recap our initial venture in surveying redemptive history, i.e., the role of creation in redemptive history.
The basic narrative of redemptive history
First, we recalled the basic narrative framework of redemptive history as a refresher. It can be presented as follows:
These four events are the central turning points in the all-encompassing storyline of scripture. But they leave a lot out (like all of God’s dealings with Israel!). Therefore, in this section of the course, as we survey redemptive history, we will unpack the contours and stages in between these four pillar-events.
In a recent post at The Gospel Coalition (also see this older post), Justin Taylor discusses “Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods.”
I’ve written about the creation debates before. And if you’ve talked to me in person about these matters, you’ve probably heard make something like the following comment:
One of the reasons (it would seem to be the main reason) interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 and the nature of God’s creative work have become so stinking controversial is the arrival of evolutionary theories. Since Darwin, proposing anything besides a 24-hour-day-view of the “days” in Genesis 1 immediately became way more controversial than it was prior to Darwin. This is due to the fact that anti-macroevolution Christians view Genesis 1-2 as a battle ground. If you walk there now, you’re going to step on a land mine even if you were not the originally intended target.
You should keep in mind that as I write this post, I am not taking a specific position on issues such as evolution, God and science, nor the meaning of Genesis 1-2. In this post I simply seek to share some thoughts I have on these matters. At times and in various circles, creation debates can be very heated. I understand that. But sometimes I think the result is that things get a little blown out of proportion. I’m not suggesting we compromise on vital truth. But I guess I’m calling us to examine what constitutes as that vital truth. In class last year, Dr. Carson reminded us of the words of Francis Schaeffer: something like, “what is the least Genesis 1-2 must be saying for the rest of the Bible to be true.” Secondary truths are not by nature unimportant truths. And I don’t want to downplay their importance. But they must be distinguished from primary doctrines. And either way, no context excludes the necessity of charitableness.
An Introductory Biblical Theology of Regeneration as it Pertains to a Proper Understanding of Inaugurated Eschatology
In contrast to systematic theology, a discipline that tackles doctrines in a neat, organized, systematic, and generally atemporal fashion, Biblical theology seeks to examine Biblical themes through the lens of progressive revelation, that is, in light of scripture’s metanarrative or unfolding plotline. Biblically theology deliberately makes temporal sequence (time development) and Scripture’s broad storyline the grid through which theology, doctrines, and themes are studied and investigated.
The following post will seek to provide an introduction to a Biblical theology on regeneration as it pertains to a proper understanding of inaugurated (already initiated) eschatology (pertaining to “last things”).
If that sounds confusing, that’s okay; it’ll all makes sense in just a bit.
As of today I have not read G.K. Chesterton‘s book Orthodoxy. In fact, I have never actually read any full piece written by the man. (I suppose he has not made it near the top of my “most urgent to read” list; however, most books and authors don’t). But, in my opinion, Chesterton is kind of like Catholicism’s C.S. Lewis–both are fantastic writers, creative thinkers, and excellent thought provokers. (And actually, interestingly enough, I think more evangelicals read and like Chesterton than Catholics; but that’s besides my point). Consequently, he’s one of those guys that just gets quoted left and right.
In fact, not too long ago I was flipping channels at work and noticed that PBS was doing a mock “ask Chesterton” show. Of course it was all scripted, but one by one audience members would ask a man who was dressed up as Chesterton a question that promoted this mock Chesterton to recite the appropriate quote that he had seemingly memorized before the show. It was straight up bizarre but oddly interesting.